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The Impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): What Does the Research Tell Us?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was established in 1997 to provide coverage for uninsured children who are low-income but above the threshold for Medicaid eligibility. In 2009, and again in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress extended federal funding for CHIP, but funding will expire a little over a year from now. Decisions about CHIP’s future funding will be consequential as more than 8 million low-income children were covered by CHIP at some point during 2012. To help inform the policy debate about CHIP, this brief reviews key data and evidence from the large body of research on the impact of children’s coverage.

Explaining Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center: The Supreme Court Considers Private Enforcement of the Medicaid Act

On January 20, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, a case that raises the issue of whether Medicaid providers can challenge a state law in federal court on the basis that it violates the federal Medicaid Act and therefore is preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This issue brief examines the major questions raised by the Armstrong case, explains the parties’ legal arguments, and considers potential effects of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Tapping Nurse Practitioners to Meet Rising Demand for Primary Care

More than 58 million Americans, or nearly 1 in 5, live in primary care shortage areas, where the supply of primary care physicians is not sufficient to meet the needs of the population. Particularly as the demand for primary care increases due to population growth, aging, and expanded insurance coverage, strategies to mitigate already sharp strains on primary care capacity are needed. This brief focuses on the opportunity to more fully tap the potential of nurse practitioners to increase access to primary care.

Safety-Net Emergency Departments: A Look at Current Experiences and Challenges

Safety-net hospital emergency departments (EDs) are an important part of our health care system, especially, but not only, for the uninsured and others with low income. With multiple major changes unfolding in our system today, including the development of new models of health care delivery, payment reforms, expanded insurance coverage, and increasing demand for primary care access, safety-net EDs are a sort of crucible in which these shifts and transitions can be seen playing out. To understand more about their current experiences and challenges as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins to takes hold, we conducted interviews with ED directors in a convenience sample of 15 safety-net hospitals around the country in June and July 2014.

Federal and State Standards for “Essential Community Providers” under the ACA and Implications for Women’s Health

Safety net providers such as community health centers and family planning clinics have served a significant role in the provision of primary care and reproductive health care services to low-income and uninsured people, particularly women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a provision aimed at assuring that newly-insured individuals, as well as those without coverage, can continue seeing their trusted safety net providers, also called Essential Community Providers (ECPs). This brief reviews the definition of ECPs, examines the federal and state rules that govern the extent to which plans must include these providers in their networks, identifies the variation from state to state, and discusses the particular importance of these rules and providers for women’s access to care.

Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers

This brief provides an introductory overview of health and health care disparities, including what disparities are and why they matter, the status of disparities today, and key efforts to address disparities, including provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their impact on health and health care disparities.

Advancing Opportunities, Assessing Challenges: Key Themes from a Roundtable Discussion of Health Care and Health Equity in the South

This brief summarizes the primary themes expressed by participants of a roundtable discussion of current and future opportunities and challenges for advancing health care and health equity in the South organized by Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Coverage Expansions and the Remaining Uninsured: A Look at California During Year One of ACA Implementation

California is a bellwether state for understanding the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Much attention has been paid to enrollment in California’s new coverage options, such as the Medicaid expansion (Medi-Cal) and plans sold through ACA marketplaces (Covered California), and to changes in the uninsured from 2013 to 2014. However, less is known about how this coverage has affected people’s access to care and financial security, and why others remain uninsured. This report, based on the 2014 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans aims to fill this gap by comparing the newly insured, previously insured and remaining uninsured across several of these important dimensions.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.